Steve Bordley, CEO of TrekDesk, came up with a design for desk that fits over a treadmill and launched his Scottsdale, Arizona-based company three years ago.

“It came out of necessity for me,” said Bordley during a phone interview while he was traveling out of the country. In 1993, he was shot by a high-powered rifle and nearly lost his left leg. He eventually left a wheelchair after two years, but found his sedentary job in commercial real estate was not helping in his recovery.

“Sitting made it worse,” he said.

Through trial and error, he developed a desk that could fit over his treadmill. In six weeks, he lost 25 pounds and felt his back pain disappear.

He sets the treadmill at one mile an hour, about one third the pace of someone walking down the hall at work or through a grocery store. It’s quiet and slow enough that a worker won’t break a sweat in the office or appear out of breath during phone calls, he said.

“All of a sudden, a whole day goes by and you’ve burned 1,000 to 1,200 calories, and you don’t even know you’ve done it,” said Bordley.

But changing corporate culture to accept a treadmill desk will take some doing. Eighty percent of his sales are to people who have home offices. The rest are sold mostly to people who work for forward-thinking companies he describes as “world leaders in innovation.”

“The body is designed to move and we have to make changes in our home and work environment,” said Bordley, who said he had already walked 15 miles that day. “We have to re-engineer our work spaces.”

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